The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and festivities. But it’s also a time when homes are often left empty, making them a prime target for burglars. That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your home while you’re away.
In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for keeping your home safe during the holidays. We’ll cover everything from notifying your neighbors to using smart home technology.
10 Tips in Safety and Security of Your Home During the Holiday
Fireproof Your Christmas Decorations
As the holiday season approaches, homes come alive with festive decorations, spreading cheer and warmth. However, amidst the merriment, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, especially when it comes to holiday décor. Live Christmas trees, while adding a touch of nature’s charm, pose a significant fire hazard due to their flammability, particularly when dry. To prevent these unfortunate incidents, ensure your tree is at least three feet away from heat sources like radiators, candles, and fireplaces. Consider replacing live trees with fire-resistant artificial alternatives and eliminate the use of candles around holiday decorations. By taking these simple precautions, you can revel in the holiday spirit without compromising safety, ensuring a joyful and fire-free, festive season.
Invest in Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as gasoline, wood, and charcoal, poses a serious threat to human health and safety. Commonly used in cars, lanterns, fireplaces, grills, and wood-burning stoves, these fuel sources emit CO, which can lead to poisoning. With over 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits attributed to CO poisoning annually, it’s crucial to exercise caution during the winter months, when the use of heat sources increases. To mitigate the risk of CO poisoning, install and maintain working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, ensuring early detection and prevention of this potentially fatal hazard.
Practice Electrical Safety
Electrical safety is paramount during the holidays, when festive lighting adds to the joyous atmosphere but also increases the risk of fires. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season, you should adhere to manufacturer instructions when stringing indoor and outdoor lights. LED holiday lights are an energy-efficient and cooler alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs, reducing the risk of heat-related fires. Additionally, avoiding electrical outlet overload by using fewer extension cords and lights, and regularly checking for loose connections that can cause sparks and shocks, is crucial. By adopting these simple electrical safety practices, you can minimize the risk of fires and celebrate the holidays with peace of mind.
Protect Your Gifts and Packages
To protect your gifts from both the eager eyes of children and potential burglars, consider concealing them away from windows and other visible areas. Additionally, be mindful of packages delivered to your porch, as thieves could target them. Consider installing a doorbell camera or outdoor security camera to deter porch pirates. Alternatively, provide specific instructions to delivery personnel regarding the placement of packages. If you anticipate a large volume of deliveries, renting a package locker or investing in a secure drop box can provide an extra layer of protection.
Get a Home Security System
Enhancing home security through a combination of surveillance systems, such as security cameras and motion sensors, and additional security features, like exterior lights and smart locks, can effectively deter intruders and provide peace of mind. These measures work even when you’re away, making your property less appealing to potential thieves. Smart home features, like remote door unlocking and custom security doors, offer added convenience and protection.
Keep Your Outdoors Clean
As a meticulous homeowner who takes pride in your lawn and garden, you may notice that your plants, shrubs, and grass appear overgrown after returning from a vacation. This unkempt appearance can inadvertently signal to potential intruders that the house is vacant and susceptible to break-ins. To counteract this, consider hiring a gardener or entrusting a trusted friend to maintain your landscaping while you’re away. By keeping your lawn and garden well-maintained, you can maintain the impression of an occupied home, deterring unwelcome visitors.
Make it Look Like You’re at Home
A home that appears occupied is less likely to be targeted by burglars. This is because a lived-in home sends the message that there is someone present, making it a less attractive target for potential criminals. For example, the sight of lights turning on and off can deter intruders, as they may assume someone is inside. To create the illusion of occupancy, consider investing in timers that automatically turn lights on and off at regular intervals. Additionally, arrange for mail and newspaper delivery to be suspended or have a trusted friend collect them to avoid the appearance of an empty home.
Keep Your Kitchens Safe and Secure
While cooking is a central part of many holiday celebrations, it’s crucial to prioritize safety in the kitchen. To prevent cooking-related fires and injuries, never leave cooking unattended, keep young children out of the kitchen area, ensure proper food handling and storage, adhere to manufacturer instructions when using a fryer, and keep a portable fire extinguisher readily available. By adopting these simple precautions, you can enjoy a safe and festive holiday season.
Keep Your Travel Plans Offline
As a safety precaution during holiday travels, refrain from sharing your travel plans or whereabouts on social media platforms. Avoid posting details about your departure dates, destination, and return timeline. This information could provide burglars with valuable insights into your home’s vacant periods. Even with the highest privacy settings on social media accounts, it’s advisable to avoid sharing such sensitive information publicly.
Call a Friend or a Neighbor
To ensure your home’s safety and avoid the appearance of an empty residence during your holiday travels, inform a trusted neighbor about your absence and request them to monitor your property for any unusual activity. Arrange for snow removal from walkways and driveways and temporarily suspend mail and newspaper delivery. Additionally, inform your neighbor if someone will be visiting your home to check on things or shovel snow, to avoid confusion and potential misunderstandings. Consider utilizing smart home technology, such as motion-sensor lights, smart plugs, and smart lightbulbs, to create the illusion of occupancy. For enhanced security, invest in a monitored home security system before your departure.
Safeguard Your Home for a Worry-Free Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches and the excitement of festive gatherings fills the air, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of home security. While indulging in the merriment of the season, it’s essential to take proactive measures to safeguard your home, ensuring that your absence doesn’t become an open invitation for unwanted intruders.
By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can effectively deter burglars and maintain a sense of tranquility during your holiday travels. Remember, prevention is key, and a few simple precautions can go a long way in safeguarding your valuables and providing peace of mind.